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Antibacterial Soap

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Antibacterial Soap

Dial antibacterial soap advertises that it is "over 10x more effective at killing disease-causing germs than ordinary liquid hand soaps"(1). To the average consumer a soap with the ability to kill more germs seems to be more effective. But is a more powerful antibacterial soap always better? Various studies suggest that antibacterial soaps can be harmful and may lead to problems like super bugs, dry skin, and hand eczema. According to current research antibacterial soaps are no better than traditional soaps when it comes to house hold use.

Antibacterial cleaning agents have fast become a popular alternative to traditional cleaning products. These soaps, shampoos, dishwashing detergents, and toothpastes are marketed as antibacterial products and have become popular household items. In fact 75% of liquid soaps and 30% of bar soaps on the market are considered antibacterial(2). These antibacterial products are so popular because they are intended to decrease bacteria. They wipe out more germs than regular soap. This means that they should decrease a person's chance of getting sick. As Janet Donohue of www.germsmart.com suggests "they kill germs, thus breaking the cycle of infection"(3). In addition to killing germs some antibacterial products are easier to use than traditional soap and water. For example, there are many hand sanitizers that do not require water. A user simply applies the soap to his hands and the dirt "disappears". These products seem magic, but as we know magic does not exist in science.

To fully understand how antibacterial products work one must learn how soap works. Soap consists of an acid and a base(4). The acid known as triglycerides mixes with the base sodium hyd...

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...than trying to wipe bacteria out we should work on limiting our exposure to too many harmful bacteria with traditional soaps, shampoos, dish detergents, and toothpaste.

Internet Sources:

1)How Stuff Works Site, This site gives answers to simple science questions.

http://www.howstuffworks.com/question692.htm

2)Health at OZ site,

http://www.healthatoz.com/atoz/healthupdate/alert09192000.html

3)United States Health and Human Services, This is a copy of the report given on antibiotic

http://www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/NEWS/NEW00736.html

4), Germ Smart site,

http://www.germsmart.com/

5), Doctors Guide,

http://www.pslgroup.com/dg/F3d6a.htm

6) Nurse Week Article ,

http://www.nurseweek.com/features/98-10/soap.html

7) MSNBC Report , Buissness Journal,

http://msnbc.msn.com/news/608082.asp?cp1=1

8) Dial Soap Site,

http://www.dialsoap.com/
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